Two ELCA Lutherans Join the Church!

Being ex-ELCA myself, it pleases me greatly to hear of other converts.

" In August, The Layman Online published a story about a warning by Carl E. Braaten, one of the nation’s leading Lutheran theologians, to the president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America."

"In the article, ‘Leading Lutheran scholar: ELCA’s liberal drift causing ‘brain drain’ from denomination,’ Braaten lamented the exodus of Lutheran scholars and ministers from the mainline Lutheran denomination to the Roman Catholic Church. He expressed his dismay over the direction the ELCA in strong words, including ‘heresy,’ ‘pious piffle,’ and ’empty body.’ He warned that the denomination was on a ‘trajectory that leads to rank antinomianism.’"

"Braattan said his departed colleagues were ‘convinced that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has become just another liberal protestant denomination. Hence, they have decided that they can no longer be a part of that. Especially, they say, they are not willing to raise their children in a church that they believe has lost its moorings in the great tradition of evangelical (small e) and catholic (small c) orthodoxy (small o), which was at the heart of Luther’s reformatory teaching and the Lutheran Confessional Writings. They are saying that the Roman Catholic Church is now more hospitable to confessional Lutheran teaching than the church in which they were baptized and confirmed. Can this possibly be true?’"

"On Oct. 9, the Rev. Tom McMichael of Hope Lutheran Church in Lynden, Wash., cited similar reasons for his resignation from the ELCA to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. ‘

"On October 9th, Pastor Tom McMichael resigned his ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, after seventeen years of ordained service. He and his wife will soon enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Here is the letter he sent to his congregation. Please keep Pastor McMichael, his family, and Hope Lutheran Church in your prayers."

Comments 5

  1. Nathan wrote:

    I’m not sure I can share your joy over their conversions. Their congregations have lost pastors, their churches have lost members, and we have gained people who have come to us because they didn’t like what they saw in their churches — not necessarily because they like what they see in ours.

    I was greatly disturbed by the assertion that the Roman Catholic Church is more hospitable to confessional Lutheranism than the ELCA is. Is that why they’re coming here? If so, that’s bad news for us. We’re not Lutheran, so isn’t it disturbing that we would be found to be more hospitable to confessional Lutheranism than a Lutheran church is?

    Posted 31 Oct 2005 at 5:47 am
  2. Funky Dung wrote:

    Not neccessarily. Fr. Richard John Neuhaus once wrote, “Why become Catholic? To become more fully who I was as a Lutheran.” Also, “I am immeasurably grateful for all the grace of God I knew and I shared as a Lutheran. Like them, I hope that my witness will contribute to a greater Christian unity by concentrating on the truth of Christ and his Church. Like them, by becoming a Catholic, I am more fully, and yet very differently, who I was as a Lutheran.”

    Posted 31 Oct 2005 at 12:32 pm
  3. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Yep. Catholics should be grateful to receive such “high level” “defections” such as these. It is an admission (whether tacit or explicit) that the causes for the Reformation no longer exist. It is interesting to note the remarkable Catholicism of Luther’s own writings, e.g., Marian devotion, frequent Eucharist and confession, a high (if not completely Tridentine) view of the Eucharist. In short, Luther would not be Lutheran today, even (with all due respect to their orthodox nature) in the conservative LCMS and WELS branches. And of course, Luther would be the first to condemn as completely heretical his supposed decendants in the ELCA. The real irony is that the more “confessional” (traditionalist, orthodox) the Lutheran, the more committed they are to the cause of the Reformation over and against the RCC, but simultaneously the more closely aligned they are with the actual teaching and practice of the RCC. Go figure.

    Lutherans (and many other orthodox believers within Protestant sects) do phenomenal work in areas where Catholic performance is spotty at best. Not least of these is catechesis: which runs 3 seasons (at least) for children AND adults in most Lutheran churches. If the RCC could pick up just a small number such hard workers, the pleas that I heard each week at Mass for the past several months for CCD warm bodies… err… I mean “workers”, would cease.

    Interestingly, in my journey from Low Church Protestantism towards Rome (which I hope to blog about someday ;-)), I feel very much as Fr. Neuhaus did, i.e., as if this is a natural extension of the adventure, and no defection at all.

    Cheers!

    Posted 31 Oct 2005 at 3:48 pm
  4. Nathan wrote:

    Eric — A point well taken. I just think it’s important to remember that our gain is also someone else’s loss.

    Posted 02 Nov 2005 at 5:44 am
  5. Tom Smith wrote:

    Unfortuantely, this sounds like another case of people becoming Catholic because Catholicism sucks less than their former Christian homes, rather than converting because Catholicism is true, and possesses the fulness of truth and means of salvation. What if these guys end up in parishes with mega-liturgical abuses, heretical catechists, and lotsa Sisters of the Holy Sweatpants? They’ll become Orthodox.

    Posted 09 Nov 2005 at 7:04 am

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *